The Unsuccessful Attempt to Lure Caucasians to Hawaii and the Lessons Learned

April 9, 2020

In this blog, you will see there were racial differences in how people of different races reacted to working on the sugar plantations of Hawaii. And instead of turning a blind eye into the racial disparities and making, especially Caucasians and Asians suffer, there are specific things you can do to make them feel more comfortable.

Around the early 1900s, Russians, notably 1500 Russians from Siberia, were recruited to work in the sugar plantations in Hawaii, which turned out not to be a good financial investment for the sugar plantation owners in Hawaii.

In contrast, the Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Koreans, Filipinos, were good workers for the sugar plantation owners in Hawaii, and these groups ended up staying in Hawaii in large numbers. Recruited to the sugar plantations were the Portuguese and the Spanish from Spain to a lesser extent.

However, compared to the other racial and ethnic groups mentioned above, these Russians from Siberia mostly left Hawaii and went somewhere else. A huge contribution to their dislike of Hawaii was the heat and humidity. This one fact will make you think twice about the issue of heat and humidity and its effect on labor, especially on a sugar plantation and a gamut of resultant topics.

On another front, due to the unfortunate 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, it has been well announced that the gut system of Asians is different than non-Asians.

Just based on these two known and provable facts, one can see the resultant variations of the differences among racial or ethnic groups. Anything related to type or variation of food, and the degree of heat or humidity will either attract or deter Asian and Caucasians.

So what does the above mean for you, the reader?

If you want to make Asians or Caucasians feel comfortable, you offer a variety of foods from around the world, and you give them places where there are varying degrees of temperature and humidity. Therefore, at least the Asians and Caucasians can have options to choose a food or physical environment that makes them feel comfortable.

Now, if you want Asians and Caucasians to be uncomfortable, do the opposite: offer only one option of food: for example, offer to an Asian, only a piece of bread with cheese and a cup of coffee. Or offer to a Caucasian only one option of the physical environment: for example, a place that has zero shade from the sun and is humid.

Hopefully, you saw that there are differences in the races, and you may think that the above recommendations are obvious and common sense. Still, you will be surprised to see many places around the world don’t offer the above options for Caucasians and Asians. Just look around–if you don’t see many of them around, it’s probably because of the lack of opportunities to control heat and humidity and lack of food options.

Link That May Interest You:

Despite Similar Sugar Economies, Why Hawaii Turned Out Very Differently Than Its Caribbean Counterparts


Emy Louie is a “kama’aina/haole” (native/non-native person) adventuring to people, places and things on Oahu, Hawai’i, where “kama’aina” don’t usually go to–that tourists GO to, and vice versa.  She lived in Honolulu in the 70’s and 80’s and visited Honolulu annually since then.

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